Thursday, December 27, 2018

Devotions, Coloring, and Books to Grow From

I am working on compiling my book list for 2019.  I have some books that I just never got to last year and one that I read, but have decided to read again along with using the journal that goes with it.  I had a list of books I wanted to work through, but I never gave myself the time to sit and read.  This time, I am going to set aside time to read.  Instead of saying I am going to read a book a month, I am going to set aside time several days a week to just sit and read.

And yes, I am putting it on my calendar planner.  I usually use my for appointments and birthdays, but this year I am going to set it up differently and actually use it.  But I will save that for another post.  For now, I am adding in reading time.

The pictures show what is on my book list.  From devotions to start my day out, to mandala and coloring books to use during my creative sessions, to journals and books.  Can you sense a theme though in my titles?  Lots on creativeness, some on parenting and being a mom, and some to grow in my faith with.

I am excited to dive in, see where the books take me, and dig in deeper.

I have yet to decide on what order I am going to go in for the books.  But I do know I will be starting with "Be Your Finest Artist" by Joanne Miller & Dorsey McHugh.  This one I read a few years back when I first got it.  This time around, I ordered the journal that goes with it and plan on working through both together.

Incidentally, a few other books on my list got onto my list because when I ordered the journal, Joanne was out of town and it wouldn't ship for a couple of weeks.  I said no problem and to my surprise I was gifted "Creating a Haven of Peace" and "The  Empowered Artist".  Which led to a discussion with my mother in law, and she is loaning me the other creative themed books.

My list got built further after Christmas and was gifted with a blessing of other books.

Through the recommendation of friends, family, add ons to books I have read,  even winning one my reading list and direction is coming together.

So, what is on your reading list for 2019?  I would love to hear what is on your list and also if you have any recommendations please share!

Friday, December 21, 2018

It's Okay to Break, It's Okay to Cry

Here we are, 4 days away from Christmas.  And oddly enough, my most recent post was about the magic of Christmas.  Maybe not oddly, maybe more ironic, but a few days to prior to today were not my finest.

After what seems like months of dealing with same negative behaviors that seem like no matter what don't feel like they are going away, I was done and ready to throw in the towel.

As a parent we set expectations and boundaries, we love our kids beyond words.  But the constant loud volume, yelling at each other, not listening the first time (or second, or third, or, well you get it), lack of interest in helping, lack of interest in being kind to one another, and the list goes on left me worn and weary.

Well, needless to say, I have not, was not much in the holiday mood.  Not quite bah humbug, but not too far from it if things didn't change.

A few days ago, it changed.  I hit my own low, my own just done with it, my own breaking point.  I was done, done with those behaviors, not feeling the magic of the season, and ready to throw up the white flag.

Yes, I know.  God doesn't give us more than we can handle.  And he gave me these two boys, put me on this path that I am on.  But I was feeling a bit broken.  So much so, the tears just came flowing.

After the umpteenth fit from my youngest, my oldest picking on his brother all morning for yet again another day, being kicked twice during a diaper change, I ended up on the floor.  My youngest snuggling in, and the tears just flowing down my face.  The tears stopped long enough until I went to bed, and I shed some more.  And the next day, some more again.

But then I began to feel a shift.  A shift in me, my attitude, my perspective, a weight lifted.

It was like I needed that moment.  That moment to break, to let it out, and let it go.

Nothing in life is perfect.  There are moments that are perfect, only in the sense that had the pieces not falling together the way we did and we noticed it wouldn't have happened.  Sometimes we have it all together and sometimes it all falls apart.

I needed that moment.  That moment to let the tears flow.  I don't always like to admit it, but though it may seem like it from the outside, I don't always have it all together.  And when the same thing, same negative thing, keeps happening it has a tendency to grate on me.  It wears me down, tears me apart, and I want to throw in the towel.

But I am me.  I am a wife, a mom, and so much more.  And just like my kids, I try to be in control of too much sometimes, even if it isn't something I can truly control.  Then we all butt heads, and we start pushing past the boundaries.

Until we just need to unload.  I unloaded through tears.  My oldest asked me if I was okay, and I flat out said no.  That is where I left it, that is where he left it.  Nothing more was said.

Now today, and well yesterday.  Things began to feel better.  They began to run more smoothly.  They began to change.

I am now feeling more in the Christmas spirit.  I am now beginning to see the magic of the season.  I am now more at ease.

I don't know what or why it all happened the way it did.  I don't know if the behaviors are fixed or how long this change with last.

I do know that it was what was needed  It was unexpected.  And it is the season I, we, are in.

I am trying to raise great kiddos who are respectful, helpful, loving, kind, gracious, and content.  Ones who let their personality shine through, use their strengths and gifts, know and understand their weaknesses.  Beyond that, I am trying to raise great adults.  So that one day, they will do these things on their own and be able to guide others.

Some days are easier than others.  But that is life.  We work through it.  We come out stronger on the other side.  We come out with more wisdom.

If you are not feeling the magic of the season, I get it.  But take a moment to look into why.  Sort it out, let it go, and find a calm that can carry you.

Being a parent is and has been the hardest job I have had by far.

It is okay for your kids to see you, your emotions, and realize it is okay to not be okay.  Because in the long run, they will learn the most from watching.

These next few days, I am going to try to see the magic of Christmas the way a child does.  Then, I hope and pray it is something I can continue to carry through the months ahead.  Because at the end of the day, there is still so much to be grateful for and so much glory in our lives.  We just need to ask to see it or help seeing it every now and then.

Today, today I am grateful for the grace of God, the love of family and friends, and the release that comes from letting tears flow.

I may not have it all together sometimes, but I have what I need surrounding me each day.

May you find the peace, the calm, the joy in the days to come.  May you see these days in a way that uplifts you in a way you never have before.  May you find space and presence in the moments in your day.  And may you truly see the magic, even if only through tears.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Believe in the Magic of Christmas


There is something truly magical about this time of year.  For those of you who know me well, I have been choosing a word a month since about February.  I use this word to guide me through the month.  I also pick a word for the year or theme, and even do some word brainstorming for the season.  I have found a great sense of peace, reminding, transformation, and joy out of going through the process of picking a word and having it around the house.

This month, my word is magic.

Why?  Because there is so much more to this season, this month, this time leading up to the holiday if you believe....believe in the magic of Christmas.

I know, in the hustle and bustle of the month, as an adult, it can get hard to sometimes see the magic.  Sometimes it's hard to slow down.  But usually when we slow down, when we pause, we become present.  We become more aware, and not only can we see the magic, but we can feel it too.

All to often as we get older, we loose sight of that.  Having kids or being around kids can bring that back.  I love watching this time of year through my kids' eyes.

You can really see the joy, the peace, the hope, the light in the season if you take a look around you, listen, and let yourself be in the moment.

The beauty of this magic is that it doesn't have to go away after Christmas has wrapped up.  It doesn't have to go away as we get older.

We can carry this magic throughout our lives, year after year.

I see the magic of Christmas
  • in the eyes of my children
  • catching snowflakes on our tongues
  • looking at twinkle lights
  • advent devotionals
  • lighting candles
  • learning the Christmas story
  • finding special gifts to share with others
  • sharing our own gifts and talents with others
  • a simple smile
  • snuggles
  • hot chocolate or coffee or tea
There is so much out there where we can see the magic.

Where do you see the magic?  If you are having a hard time believing in the magic of Christmas, what can you set aside, what can you change that will open your eyes and heart to it?

Christmas, believing, magic are not just something that is in the month of December.  Let's try carrying it on in to the new year, the next seasons.

I hope you can find a way to see the magic, to believe in it, to feel it, hear it, and share it.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

LifeScore ~ Where are you struggling, frustrated, having success, transforming?

I enjoy reading.  I mostly read nonfiction, but will read the occasional fiction book if I find the topic of interest or it's a good read recommended by a friend. 

As I am compiling my book list for next year, I still touch base with some of my favorite Authors throughout the year.  Usually, when it's an author I like, I will follow them on facebook to follow along with their blog, resources, etc. that go beyond the book.

Some of my favorite authors you might ask?  Jill Savage, Andy Andrews, Joanne Miller.  My hubby has read a lot from Dan Miller, as well as done a podcast episode with him.  So I have learned a little here and there about him, but personally have yet to read one of his books.  However, I do follow him on facebook because his wealth of knowledge can be a helpful resource.

Recently Dan Miller shared a link to Michael Hyatt's LifeScore Assessment.  It is a free assessment that looks at the domains of: circle of being, circle of relating, and circle of doing.  Within each domain there are focused area questions on: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, marital, parental, social, vocational, avocational, financial.  You can select one, a few of the areas that relate to you (i.e. if you aren't married, don't click on the marital one or if you don't have kids yet, don't click on that one)

Once you answer all the questions it gives you an overall life score, as well as a score in each focus area.  Then you can look at where are struggling, frustrated, success or transforming.

I selected all the areas and after going through it to be very interesting and worth taking.  While most areas fell in the success range, there were a few areas in the frustration range and one area of transformation.  The last two, the frustration and transformation are two areas where I am going to dig in deeper to learn more about.  To see why they fell there, where my thoughts are on it, and if there is anything I need to do and can change, also, where I need to adjust my perspectives and priorities.

Sure, most of us will not be 100%  in the success range for all the areas, especially not all the time, and that is okay.  Why?  Because our lives are about balance and priorities.  Where we focus our attention the most is where we have the most success typically.  Likewise, where we put our priorities makes a different as well to where it falls on the scale. 

We all have different strengths and gifts we can share, as well as weaknesses.  But our strength and gifts can be used to help fill in the void of another's weakness, likewise, the strengths and gifts of other's can be used to fill the void of our weaknesses or help us begin a transformation process.

If you are in a frustration or struggling phase, is it because it is the season you are in?  Or could it be because that focus area falls into a weakness for you?  Or even an area that is of little interest to you?

If you are in a transformation phase, can you see that focus area transforming?  How is it?  Why?  Is it transforming into a success, or a struggle, or frustration?  What can you do to turn it into a success?

If you are in a success phase, can you see how you got there?  What makes it a success?  How can you keep it there?

Are any of these focus areas ones where you can change your perspective?  Grow and change? Something that you might be able to let go of?  Something you need additional guidance on?

It's okay to keep dreaming, keep growing, to keep changing.  As the year comes to an end, take a moment to think on the past year (or further back if wanted or needed) to reflect.  Take a moment to think about the year to come and dream, looking for ways to use your strengths, your talents, your gifts, coming to terms with your weaknesses and seeing where you are needing to or ready to transform.

Start putting into place now those things that will help you grow, to change where needed, to let go where you can , to transform.  See where this will take you.

Below I will include a link to the LifeScore Assessment.  I encourage you take a moment and answer the questions.  See where it will lead you.  If you take it, share your findings below if you feel comfortable or what your thoughts are about it all or what your take away is going to be from it.

In the meantime, you do you.  Use your strengths, use your gifts, let yourself transform.

Michael Hyatt's LifeScore Assessment

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

An Acrostic Poem ~ On Hope

Have healing through the
Openness of the season
Providing a sense of peace, happiness, and gratitude
Exciting you through each day, finding energy and ease enter in

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Loving Kindness Message ~ On Hope

May you find healing
May you find openness
May you find peace and presence
May you find excitement and energy